Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

'It's Time the French Quit Bashing British Food'
The Local ^ | 23 Oct 2013

Posted on 10/26/2013 3:42:30 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Are the French developing a secret fondness for British cuisine? And will they ever admit it? Paris-based blogger Naomi Firsht explores this spikey issue in the first of a new series that will see The Local France team up with some of the many talented bloggers in France, as they share their musings on life in our adopted country.

Having lived in France for five years, the number of times I’ve heard my home cuisine insulted by a French person is too high to count.

It seems to be wired into their DNA: French food is the best in the world (“mais bien sur!”) and British fare isn’t fit for an animal to eat. Tell a Frenchman there is no English expression for “Bon appétit” and he will almost unfailingly reply, “They just say ‘Bonne chance!’” (Good luck) to the hoots of laughter of any fellow countrymen listening.

Well, “Enough!” I cry! I have done my best to undo French stereotypes by earnestly reporting to friends and family in the UK that French women do shave their armpits and no, no-one smells of garlic or onions – Parisians do wear a lot of striped tops though, that one is true.

So now it’s time for the French to admit how much they really like British grub, because they do.

A couple of years ago, when Marks & Spencer opened on the Champs Elysées, there was a queue to enter for the first three weeks.

These people were not queuing for the Per Una collection. They wanted scones, cheddar cheese and pork sausages, and guess what? Most of them were French. They love our pies, sandwiches, bread and Victoria sponges; they just don’t like to admit it…

Or do they?

SEE ALSO: M&S opens new Paris store amid expansion

Following hot on the heels of the New York burger craze in Paris, it’s the humble British fish & chips that is taking the French capital by storm.

Chic restaurants all over town are offering a “Very British” (pronounced “Verrry Briteesh”) fish & chips on their menu. Some even go so far as to offer mushy peas on the side.

French magazine “A Nous” dedicated a whole feature to the British culinary craze this month, calling it the “Royal baby effect.” In it they listed no less than five popular Paris restaurants who have added fish & chips to their daily menu. And I could name at least five more!

The last few months have seen the advent of a fish & chips truck, the Daily Wagon, and the opening of the very first fish & chip shop in Paris, The Sunken Chip, based in the trendy Canal Saint Martin area.

Whilst it’s definitely more of a fish & chips restaurant than genuine chippy – the French aren’t quite prepared for that yet – the grub certainly gets top marks for authenticity, thanks to its British chefs.

Fat chunky chips, crispy battered haddock and mushy peas with mint are served in a cardboard dish with disposable wooden knives and forks. Jars of pickled eggs line the back wall and bottles of Sarson’s vinegar sit on every table, ready for liberal dousing.

And just who is enjoying salt n' vinegar chips and pickled eggs? When I was there, the tables were full and there was a steady flow of take-away customers. In all I counted two English people, including me, the rest were French.

So ok, the French are definitely pro-batter, but what about the rest of our fine British cooking? Has anything else made it across the Channel? Of course it has. The latest trend in new Paris cafés is small New York style coffee shops that serve, amongst other baked goods, fresh scones with jam.

Baked goods

Fusion food and British-inspired dishes are also becoming more commonplace in the French capital.

Le Bal Café in the 18th arrondissement is a perfect example of an Anglo-French blend. Run by two chefs, one English, the other French-Irish, the menu is British-based and includes Welsh rarebit, kippers on toast, scones and porridge.

I went for brunch and once again found the restaurant bursting with Parisians all chowing down on fry-ups and bacon pie.

It looks to me like it’s time to stop the British food bashing. No-one’s saying that our national gastronomy is better than that of France (quelle idée!) but it’s not all baked beans on toast in Blighty, we do have some culinary tricks up our sleeves.

The next time one of my Gallic friends has something “witty” to say about my home cuisine, I shall force them to eat their words – along with their steak and kidney pie.


TOPICS: Food; History; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: cuisine; france; uk
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-61 next last

1 posted on 10/26/2013 3:42:30 PM PDT by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

If the French have the best food, how come they didn’t invent pizza?


2 posted on 10/26/2013 3:45:46 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (Jeremiah 50:32 "The arrogant one will stumble and fall ; / ?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

HELL

-The food is British
-The cars are French
-The police are German
-The lovers are Swiss

...and the whole thing is run by Italians


3 posted on 10/26/2013 3:47:29 PM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rawcatslyentist
If the French have the best food, how come they didn’t invent pizza?

Bacon. Bacon is the best food.

It's bacon!

4 posted on 10/26/2013 3:50:13 PM PDT by Ken H (First rule of gun safety - have a gun)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: rawcatslyentist

I have heard it described as France having the best cooks, but Italy having the best food.


5 posted on 10/26/2013 3:53:10 PM PDT by ansel12 ( Democrats-"a party that since antebellum times has been bent on the dishonoring of humanity.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ansel12

Y SHOULD THEY QUIT BASHING BRITISH FOOD? IT SUKS!


6 posted on 10/26/2013 3:54:38 PM PDT by DIRTYSECRET (urope. Why do they put up with this.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Sorry. I don’t have any respect for the French. However, they do have the best food. And the British do have some of the worst, and most unimaginative food.

Fish and chips! Seriously?


7 posted on 10/26/2013 3:55:43 PM PDT by winner3000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Having taken several trips to Britain and Ireland, I can reliably say the British fish and chips are the best. They do serve them with mushy peas (delicious) which are usually not found in American fish dinners. Cornish pasties are also delicious. (I’ve got to try Devon pasties sometime. There’s a rivalry between Cornwall and Devon as to who has the best pasties.)


8 posted on 10/26/2013 4:02:03 PM PDT by driftless2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

The French, Parisians in particular, have periodic waves of fascination with peculiar things foreign to them. I recall over a decade ago, they fell in love with pumpkins and had the Champs Elysees lined from one end to the other with Jack O’Lanterns. So, the English would do well not to get too excited, it’s le trendy, fickle and fleeting by nature.


9 posted on 10/26/2013 4:03:10 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

It’s always appropriate to bash British food.


10 posted on 10/26/2013 4:03:30 PM PDT by saganite (What happens to taglines? Is there a termination date?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: saganite

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_food


11 posted on 10/26/2013 4:16:43 PM PDT by Mmogamer (I refudiate the lamestream media, leftists and their prevaricutions.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

I’ve always gotten a kick out of Americans who look down their noses at British food. Those of us of Scots-Irish heritage — a substantial percentage — grew up eating mostly the same stuff.

Well, without the eel, of course.


12 posted on 10/26/2013 4:18:08 PM PDT by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment. [Ludwig Von Mises])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BfloGuy

And the haggis.


13 posted on 10/26/2013 4:23:14 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: trisham
And the haggis.

Well, yes. That, too, didn't seem to make the ocean crossing for some reason. Heh.

14 posted on 10/26/2013 4:31:44 PM PDT by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment. [Ludwig Von Mises])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: BfloGuy

:)


15 posted on 10/26/2013 4:33:39 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: BfloGuy

“Those of us of Scots-Irish heritage — a substantial percentage — grew up eating mostly the same stuff.”

I’ve never had the Haggis Laddie! Of course I was raised in the South and down there it was BACON!!!!


16 posted on 10/26/2013 4:48:17 PM PDT by dljordan (WhoVoltaire: "To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator
HELL

-The food is British
-The cars are French
-The police are German
-The lovers are Swiss

...and the whole thing is run by Italians


I have always heard:

Heaven:
The house is British
The wife is Japanese
The wages are American
The food is Chinese

Hell:
The house is Japanese
The wife is American
The wages are Chinese
The food is British


I suppose there are endless variations.
17 posted on 10/26/2013 4:48:20 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There's no salvation in politics.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

I understand that the French have been eager consumers of food provided by a famous Scottish restaurant. In fact, this Scottish cuisine is readily available in the U.S. as well.

It is called, “McDonalds”.


18 posted on 10/26/2013 4:50:04 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There's no salvation in politics.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BfloGuy

“Those of us of Scots-Irish heritage — a substantial percentage — grew up eating mostly the same stuff.”

Ah, hold the BLOOD pudding and the BLOOD sausage please. Any my mom’s fried potatoes never left a puddle of grease on my plate.

I actually ate the haggis at a Robert Burns dinner several years ago. I thought it wasn’t bad. Perhaps I should try it again sober and see how it tastes...


19 posted on 10/26/2013 4:50:07 PM PDT by 43north (BHO: 50% black, 50% white, 100% RED)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Mmogamer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_cuisine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_cuisine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_cuisine


20 posted on 10/26/2013 4:53:21 PM PDT by Mmogamer (I refudiate the lamestream media, leftists and their prevaricutions.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: 43north

We were on a tour of Scotland and haggis was on the menu. I follow my Dad’s policy of trying anything, and the haggis wasn’t bad. Although the Scottish waitor gave me a funny look...


21 posted on 10/26/2013 4:56:38 PM PDT by ArmyTeach ( Videteco eos prius (See 'em first) Sculpin 191)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: 43north
Ah, hold the BLOOD pudding and the BLOOD sausage please. Any my mom’s fried potatoes never left a puddle of grease on my plate.

OK, OK. I was talking mostly about the beef, the mushy vegetables, and the eggs and bacon. Mostly the mushy vegetables and the beef and the eggs and bacon.

22 posted on 10/26/2013 4:57:30 PM PDT by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment. [Ludwig Von Mises])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]


23 posted on 10/26/2013 5:07:01 PM PDT by RedMDer (http://www.dontfundobamacare.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

I spent a few days in Britain, and had a hard time finding anything decent to eat. It was all fish and chips.


24 posted on 10/26/2013 5:07:13 PM PDT by exDemMom (Current visual of the hole the US continues to dig itself into: http://www.usdebtclock.org/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BfloGuy

The blood sausage is really good stuff if you like black pepper.


25 posted on 10/26/2013 5:08:11 PM PDT by RedMDer (http://www.dontfundobamacare.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

French food is for people with no teeth.


26 posted on 10/26/2013 5:13:01 PM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel (Have a wonderful day!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BfloGuy

I attended a banquet held at the end of a medical team competition in England. The main course was pork chops.

Mine was so tough I broke a molar trying to chew the first bite. The next day I had to fly back to Alaska. It was Memorial Day weekend so I couldn’t see a dentist for 5 days. Judging by the local teeth I saw over there I don’t think there are any dentists in England at all.

Ah yes, British food...


27 posted on 10/26/2013 5:17:08 PM PDT by 43north (BHO: 50% black, 50% white, 100% RED)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: 43north
Having spent a little time in the Lake District, at bed & breakfast type, nice but not fancy resorts, I was impressed.

No fish & chips, nor bangers & mash, but traditional meat dishes, potatoes, roasts, lamb, pork, gravys, tasty traditional british breakfasts, and wonderful desert carts. No complaints. All well done. Tasty. It made me wonder why their reputation was so bad. I suppose because of the relative simplicity of the dishes compared to the saucy french.

28 posted on 10/26/2013 5:35:14 PM PDT by chiller (NBCNews et al is in the tank and should be embarrassed)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Speaking of which, I finally got a job.

I’m working for St. Halibut’s Fish and Chips.

Right now, I’m just a Chip Monk, I’m hoping to work my way up to Fish Friar, and with luck, some day maybe even up to ...

Lord of the Fries!


29 posted on 10/26/2013 5:49:14 PM PDT by null and void (I'm betting on an Obama Trifecta: A Nobel Peace Prize, an Impeachment, AND a War Crimes Trial...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ArmyTeach

“... and the haggis wasn’t bad. Although the Scottish waitor gave me a funny look...”

Why anyone would think that the ground organs of a sheep mixed with oats and boiled in said sheep’s stomach is anything but delicious I do not understand.

After 5 or 6 shots of Scotch whiskey toasting Robert Burns I could have eaten anything... and I think I did!


30 posted on 10/26/2013 5:49:22 PM PDT by 43north (BHO: 50% black, 50% white, 100% RED)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: 43north
Perhaps I should try it again sober...

Blasphemer!

31 posted on 10/26/2013 5:54:31 PM PDT by Billthedrill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Billthedrill

You’re right. What was I thinking?


32 posted on 10/26/2013 5:58:57 PM PDT by 43north (BHO: 50% black, 50% white, 100% RED)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
http://www.foodstandards.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/salamisurvey171203
"No more horsing around with salami
Wednesday, 17 December 2003
A UK-wide investigation carried out by the Food Standards Agency suggests that consumers should no longer be concerned about the problem of salami containing undeclared horsemeat and donkeymeat"

Horse Meat Discovered In Burgers Sold In UK And Ireland
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2978441/posts

Report: Italian Mafia Behind Horsemeat Scandals
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2986927/posts

Horse meat faces ban in Italy
The Telegraph
By Nick Pisa in Rome
6:20AM GMT 08 Feb 2010
Excerpt:
"Italy is the largest consumer of horsemeat in Europe with more than 48,000 metric tonnes eaten every year and it is a common dish among youngsters because of its high iron content."

Placenta: It's What's for Dinner
LA Weekly ^ | Thu., Jun. 27 2013 | Liana Aghajanian

...Valerie Rosas is standing in a kitchen, carefully cutting little pieces of meat with a chef's knife on a disposable cutting board...It's human placenta...Rosas is a placenta encapsulationist — which means she helps transform the organ expelled after childbirth into something edible:...Sara Pereira, who has encapsulated more than 800 placentas,...stresses the importance of communication with clients..."It's becoming so widespread...," Pereira says...Rosas says..."Your own body made it, it's just for you," she says. "No one could prescribe anything more perfect than what your body has made for you."



33 posted on 10/26/2013 6:47:23 PM PDT by familyop
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ...

It’s about time that jughead English prince stopped bashing American food (and American anything else).


34 posted on 10/26/2013 7:15:33 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

It was W. Somerset Maugham who wrote that if you wanted to eat well in England, you needed to eat breakfast three times a day. That was a long time ago but I don’t things have changed all that much since.


35 posted on 10/26/2013 7:42:35 PM PDT by Mase (Save me from the people who would save me from myself!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

I don’t know what British food was like 50 years ago, but its is great now. Everything imaginable is available and great fusion cuisine


36 posted on 10/26/2013 7:54:52 PM PDT by PGR88
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

Say what you like, but French cars last forEVER. (lol oh wait. Maybe that’s why you said hell.)


37 posted on 10/26/2013 8:12:15 PM PDT by KGeorge (Till we're together again, Gypsy girl. May 28, 1998- June 3, 2013)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Sivana

...a famous Scottish restaurant. In fact, this Scottish cuisine is readily available in the U.S. as well. It is called, “McDonalds”.
*****************
Wouldn’t that be Irish? It’s “Mc”, which is why Irish immigrants to America were often referred to as “Micks”.

I think it’s the “Mac”s that are the Scots.

Of course, in my genealogy serchin’ I found there was a lot of migration between Scotland and Ireland, so I guess either of them could be of either nationality.


38 posted on 10/26/2013 8:13:15 PM PDT by octex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Gallic food does not agree with me.

British, Irish, um - no Scot experience to evaluate, Italian, German, um - no on Iberian food, yes on Slavic and Romani, but nothing from the Land of Gaul interests me.

It was THEY who foisted upon the rest of the world, that eight-inch blade, that for many, including myself here, is too darn big and cumbersome. The standard G.I.-blade is no more than 7 1/4 inches long. (Why else would all those smaller plastic-covered knives on QVC always sell out?)


39 posted on 10/26/2013 8:13:32 PM PDT by Terry L Smith
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ArmyTeach

I don’t think I could order ‘spotted dick’ with a straight face.


40 posted on 10/26/2013 8:24:04 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: All armed conservatives.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: saganite

“It’s always appropriate to bash British food.”

Well, seriously, the Brits don’t give you a lot to work with. Once you get past the fish and chips and then the bangers and mash..........your pretty much left with various blood dishes and intestines.


41 posted on 10/26/2013 9:32:07 PM PDT by FAA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Sivana

“It is called, “McDonalds”...”

Tut, tut. That would be a Royale with Cheese and plenty of mayonnaise to go with your French Fries.


42 posted on 10/26/2013 9:34:34 PM PDT by FAA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: driftless2

“There’s a rivalry between Cornwall and Devon as to who has the best pasties”

So they have strip joints too. Cool!


43 posted on 10/26/2013 9:44:28 PM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin (If global warming exists I hope it is strong enough to reverse the Big Government snowball)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Dr. Sivana; dfwgator
It used to be said that...

In Heaven:
The police are British
The engineers are German
The chefs are French.

In Hell:
The police are German
The engineers are French
The chefs are British

44 posted on 10/26/2013 9:45:25 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
I spent a few days in Britain, and had a hard time finding anything decent to eat. It was all fish and chips.

When I visited England in the 1960's, there was a chain of hamburger eateries called Wimpy--and that was an apt description of British hamburgers. On the other hand, I enjoyed subcontinental cuisine--curries, somosas, tandoori dishes, etc. on my last visit to England in the 1980's.

45 posted on 10/26/2013 10:26:46 PM PDT by Fiji Hill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: 43north
I like haggis--both the Scottish version and Saumagen--literally, sow's stomach--popular in the Rheinpfalz region in southwestern Germany.
46 posted on 10/26/2013 10:35:12 PM PDT by Fiji Hill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Ukrainian borscht with black bread and ice cold vodka that will get your motor humming!


47 posted on 10/27/2013 3:11:55 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: octex

You are right. The original McDonald brothers were Irish. I was thrown off by the Big Mac, and “Old MacDonald”.


48 posted on 10/27/2013 5:16:26 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There's no salvation in politics.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: RedMDer
The blood sausage is really good stuff if you like black pepper.

I don't recall blood sausage being peppery (I cannot eat black pepper), but I do recall that the flavor was extremely intense and rather unpleasant. I tried it in France.

49 posted on 10/27/2013 6:32:29 AM PDT by exDemMom (Current visual of the hole the US continues to dig itself into: http://www.usdebtclock.org/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Fiji Hill
When I visited England in the 1960's, there was a chain of hamburger eateries called Wimpy--and that was an apt description of British hamburgers.

I remember seeing a Wimpy's when I lived in France in the 1970s. I never was tempted to try it, I think the name put me off.

BTW, I like your screen name. We had a very nice family vacation in Fiji a year ago, and would dearly love to visit again.

50 posted on 10/27/2013 6:37:06 AM PDT by exDemMom (Current visual of the hole the US continues to dig itself into: http://www.usdebtclock.org/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-61 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson